Canada Day...fireworks, family and BBQs. Good times all around. (Okay, minus the fireworks if you're a dog owner...)
This is probably "not cho" first thought when it comes to BBQ fare but here is a cheesy (in a good way) treat to serve on our country's special day—red and white nachos grilled on the BBQ!
Ingredients: Red and white nacho chips. I planned to buy the colours separately and combine, but was pleasantly surprised to find "Oh Canada" chips at the grocery store.
You'll also need cheese like white Monterey, red peppers, tomatoes, cooked chicken (optional), sour cream, red and/or white onions and salsa. Also, guacamole...it may not be red or white, but is it really possible to have nachos without guac? I think not.
Layer chips on an aluminum pie plate (one plate for each individual serving) and dress with cheese, red peppers, onions and grilled chicken chunks. Tip: Allow the chicken to cool before you dice it. It'll be easier to cube.
Instead of heating up the oven, fire up the BBQ and grill the nachos. The BBQ should be set to medium heat. Grill with the lid closed, for about five minutes.
Put hot pie plate on serving plate, dress with tomatoes, sour cream, salsa and guacamole, crack open a cold beer with a lime wedge and enjoy!
Happy Canada Day everybody!!
In my opinion, the most important factor in determining whether your party will fly or flop is organization. Your guests won't know you spent the few remaining hours before the party in panic mode, but you will. And really, what’s the point of entertaining if it’s not fun for YOU? As they say, “A happy hostess sets the tone.” Maybe nobody actually says that, but it’s true. Guests take their cues from you. If you're relaxed and having fun, your guests are sure to follow. But if little Bo Beep has lost her sh*t, the guests will surely wander. My point is, be organized and avoid the hectic last minute scramble so your party will rock.
Here’s one very simple way to keep organized in the days leading up to your party.
I call this the “Party Bucket” or depending on the type of party, the “Sin Bin.”
What is it? A tub of some kind. Nothing fancy. Preferably with handles.
What goes in it? All items for an upcoming party go in this tub exclusively. Collect napkins, party decorations, favours, candles, etc. as you find them on sale or pull from your own stash and stow them in the bucket. Keep task lists, schedules, party music CDs, etc. in the bucket as well.
How is this helpful? Everything is in one spot. This makes it easy for you to take stock of what you have and prevents things from going missing. It travels easily with you if your party is off-site. Keep banner bags, containers for decorations, etc. in the bucket during the event and you’ll be able to repackage these items and store until your next party.
Party on, party mamas!
~ Party Mummy
If you’re looking to spend hundreds of dollars or devote 50 plus hours setting up, constructing a cake and stuffing pricey loot bags for your Lego theme party, then this is not the post for you. If you’d like a practical step-by-step guide for a fun, easy, inexpensive Lego party, read on.
Invitations: Create in Word, Paint or Photoshop and print. Use faceinthehole.com to insert your child’s face in a Lego character costume. Include time, place, and RSVP information. Six to eight children is the perfect number for this type of party and two hours is a good party duration.
Decor: Primary colours. Red plastic table cloth, blue plates, yellow cups...Dollar Store. Four helium balloon centre piece. Display one or two of your child’s favourite Lego creations on the food table or as a centre piece.
Lego For The Party: Use what your child already has. If you don’t have enough, ask a friend who has a child with a large Lego collection to borrow. If you do this, use their Lego only. Do not mix with your child’s collection. It will be impossible to separate later. If family members are buying Lego as a birthday gift, open it to use in time for the party.
Lego Attire: Optional but...a fun Lego inspired t-shirt makes the birthday child feel special. I bought a really cute Star Wars Lego t-shirt from the Lego Store while I was there picking up a gift card.
Party Schedule: Write out the schedule and post on bristol board for guests to follow. This also keeps the host (you!) on track.
Parent Check-In: Have a sign-in sheet at door. Ask parents to leave their cell number and email address beside their child’s name (cell for emergencies, email for sending thank you card/photo).
Opening Activity: The key is to maintain control. If kids are given a busy task up front, they are less likely to go bonkers. Give each guest a homemade “Lego Activity Booklet”. Don’t forget to sharpen pencils, and put out crayons, markers, etc. Make a cover sheet where they can put their name. Print and include a Lego maze, connect the dots sheet, word search and colouring sheets. Allow kids to work in their activity books until all guests have arrived.
Lego Colouring Sheets
Lego Word Search
Mazes (print any of these, glue on some Lego images and photocopy):
Flow of the Party:
1. Game - “Create and Share”: Give each child a small bin of similar, assorted building blocks (I emptied some of my clear plastic shoe boxes to hold the pieces). Allow ten minutes for kids to build whatever they want using the pieces they have. Take a picture of the birthday boy/girl with each guest and their Lego creation. Use pictures in a “Thank you for helping to build birthday memories” ecard to each guest.
Each builder gets sixty seconds to share what their creation is called and what it can do. After each turn, have that child put away their pieces and go “Construct their hotdog” while friends continue to share...this prevents crowding/chaos at the food table.
2. Kids eat and chat at the table (keep food simple – hot dogs, chips, carrot/celery tray, a few pitchers of Koolaid*).
3. Clear away paper plates and cups.
4. Lego Minifigure Building Competition: Put pre-constructed minifigures in a bucket or bag. Have kids reach in to grab one. Let them examine it. Then have them take it apart and set in front of them.
Announce the beginning of the race. See who can build their figure first. Instead of yelling “Done!” ask them to place the figure on their head to show their minifigure has been constructed. Trust me, it works. Have kids put their completed figure in their loot bags (print names on the bags ahead of time).
5. Birthday Brownie Lego Blocks
Instead of cake, make a nut-free tray of brownies. Cool and cut into rectangles. Ice in two Lego colours and add Smarties for Lego brick bumps. Sing, blow out the candles and make a wish (which will probably be for the Lego Death Star). Invite guests to crumble and use as a topping for the…
6. …Build Your Own Sundae Bar!
Provide vanilla ice cream, chocolate and caramel sauce, Lego sprinkles (a few scoops of red, yellow, green, blue sprinkles bought in bulk and mixed together), marshmallow fluff, Smarties or any other candy topping.
7. Kids eat their creations at the table while playing Lego Bingo.
8. Free Play – Just like it sounds. Spread Lego out on the carpet and let kids work together or on their own to build whatever they want.
9. Parents come to pick up their children. Give them their loot bag on their way out. FYI, I am NOT a fan of the loot bag. In fact I think they’re looney. However, if kept simple and MINIMAL I can let it go. Make them out of a simple brown paper lunch sacks stamped with a large colourful rectangle and six smaller circles to look like a Lego block. Put in the Minifigure from the building contest, the Lego Activity Booklet, a Lego catalogue or event calendar (ask for these at your local Lego store) and building block candies (Bulk Barn).
10. Open presents after guests have left. Be sure to write down who gave what so your child can thank them.
The party, in the words of my grateful boy was... “The best ever.” Those three words (and the smile on his face) made the time and effort spent organizing the details so worth it.
When my son heard a Lego Store location was opening up near us, his excitement rivalled mine when I heard Target was coming to Canada!! So part of our gift to our Lego loving son is a trip to the store to spend his Lego store gift card.
*Koolaid. Sigh. Apparently you have to ADD sugar. There were a lot of puckered, thirsty faces looking at me until I figure that out.
*When buying the candy building blocks for the loot bags, instead of spending .35 cents each on cello bags to put them in, at the store, divide into plastic spice bags and close with a red twist tie and purchase ready to go!